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'Should I tell my friend that I didn’t realize we were dating?' + UPDATE

'Should I tell my friend that I didn’t realize we were dating?' + UPDATE


"Should I (27/M) tell my friend (25/M) that I didn’t realize we were dating?"

I know it probably sounds bad, but hear me out. In my head it's a long story but I'm gonna try to keep it as short as possible, sorry if it sounds choppy. Also English isn’t my first language.

Last year I had to move in with my parents because I was having a hard time finding a new place to rent after a really bad breakup. My parents and I don’t get along great for a lot of reasons and it made everything a lot worse so to get out of that I eventually decided to apply for some jobs in other places.

At the time I really didn’t want to since I‘d lived in that city my whole life and I liked my job, but I just couldn’t stay with my parents anymore. I found a job pretty quickly because this hotel was re-opening after changing owners and they weren’t finding staff easily, so I ended up moving here in October.

In the beginning I wasn't socialising much because it’s really hard to find friends here when everyone already knows everyone. My country and region are doing well, no confirmed cases in town yet, but it definitely didn't help with making friends. I’ve also been pretty busy because I decided to buy a house.

It just kinda happened because my boss knew the previous owners and it was super cheap since it needed a lot of work, but it definitely made this move feel very permanent. Then in May this guy (let’s call him Erik) and I got stuck in the social distancing queue outside the pharmacy together and started talking. I told him I was new and he invited me to a bbq with his friends.

Ngl I’m not great with new people but they made me feel welcome and were all very nice. After that we just kept hanging out, mostly me and Erik which I thought was because he was quite careful during these times and only saw his big group of friends outside. Plus we were the only two who weren’t in a relationship or had kids so it made sense in my head that we were alone a lot.

I’d cook him dinner/lunch (I’m a chef) and he’d show me great hiking places and help out a lot with the renovations on the house. I also started telling him about the breakup and stuff and even though I feel like I've moved on it was still nice that he was so understanding.

Like, I always thought it sounded so cheesy when people talked about knowing like a week into a friendship or relationship that it was gonna be different, but that’s the only way I can describe what it's felt like.

I promise now that I’m writing it down it’s so obvious but I honestly didn’t think much of it since I’ve never dated a guy before. Then like 2-3 weeks ago he called and asked if I wanted to have dinner on my next night off and also said “just you and me”. He seemed kinda weird and formal but I assumed it was something else going on and just said yes, to which he responded "it's a date then"

and I assumed he meant that as a joke-y line because I have friends who have in the past. He picked this restaurant in another town that was relatively fancy that I'd never been to and I drove him home afterwards and he told me goodnight and that he’d had a great time. Usually we’re not that formal with each other but we weren’t really acting that different during dinner so again I didn’t think much of it.

Then over the next week or so he started sending hearts in texts and would call me some pet-names here and there, which is the first thing that’s stood out to me a lot. Then earlier this week he grabbed my hand while we were out during his lunch break and that’s when it finally clicked.

It really caught me by surprise and I didn't know how to react so I tried to play it cool and go along with it. Then yesterday he texted and asked if we were still on for our movie night on Sunday and I just said ‘yeah of course’ and I’m starting to panic a bit.

I grew up pretty conservative and I guess didn’t question my sexuality a lot, even when I got to university and a lot of other people were. I’ve always been awkward when it comes to that stuff and I never really made the first move with any of the girls I’ve dated.

But I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days and I’ve realised I really really like him and all the stuff he's done never made me uncomfortable, quite the opposite actually. He’s cute, definitely what I would’ve said is my type but like a guy version, and it feels different than any friendship I’ve ever had.

Like again, looking back I definitely haven’t been acting super platonic with him and we’ve gotten close really fast and if I’m being honest if he’d been a girl I also would’ve assumed that’s where this was going.

I guess my issue is: should I tell him next time I see him that I didn't realise we were dating? Should I wait? Does he need to know? I don’t want him to feel embarrassed that he assumed or think that I’m using him to figure myself out, but I also don’t wanna lie. I genuinely wanna see where this goes since he makes me really happy.

TL;DR I moved to a new town after a bad breakup with a girl, met this guy, thought we were just instantly good friends. I didn’t realise he was actually asking me out, then realised it when he held my hand when we went for lunch. I thought about it and I really like him a lot. Should I tell him I didn’t realise we were dating and that he’s the first guy I’ve ever dated or should I wait a bit? Not tell him at all?

What do you think?! This is what top commenters had to say:


Well, I don't know if you have to out the fact that you were too naive to realize what was happening. That would embarrass the hell out of me lol. But it's probably a good idea that you let him know that you have no previous experience with men.

I think you would do well to look up the term "demisexual". It's being attracted to personalities, not aesthetics or other obvious characteristics. Your experience sounds exactly like the start of every relationship I've ever been in lol

You're just hanging out platonically with a friend or coworker, and then one day it just hits you that you've caught feelings. The first time it happened with another woman for me was super eye opening. Like, I was very open-minded and had a bunch of LGBTQ friends, but had never been attracted to a woman before.

Kind of changed my orientation to bisexual for a while. Only learned about demisexuality within the last few years and I finally feel like I have a "label" that fits. But forget labels. Love who you want!


I would let him know that he's the first guy you've dated so that he doesn't take any hesitancy personally, that you're exploring your sexuality. Some people don't want to mess with that experimentation


If it feels right then simply say what you’ve said here in a different way. Explain that last paragraph to him and say you want to take things slow because of those reasons. Best wishes mate


Let him know that its your first experience with a guy and that you may want to keep things moving slowly to feel out yourself in this type of relationship. I also suggest that you clarify whatever your relation is. Dont just assume you're dating unless one of you has asked because it may lead to confusion in the future. Congratulations on finding someone you like man!

And said:

Awwww! Tell him and tell him how you feel.

Three days later, OP shared this exciting update:

So we had our dinner/movie night yesterday and I was very nervous. Mostly because I was scared that how new it was to me was going to be a deal-breaker. But Erik came over and I think he instantly realised I was acting weird. He didn’t say anything while he was helping me cook but then when we sat down to eat he almost immediately asked what was up.

So I basically said something like “I really like you and I wanna see where this goes, but I want you to know it’s very new to me and I’m not sure you’re cool with that”. And he asked what exactly was new to me and I said I’d only dated girls before. Which then lead to a conversation where I couldn’t avoid telling him that I didn’t realize we were dating until that lunch.

He actually got really quiet for a few seconds after that and I was scared he was upset but then he just laughed. Basically, he thought I’d been flirting with him for quite some time (looking back I probably was, just not intentionally) and all of his friends had been saying like “he seems so into you, it’s really obvious, he’s probably just too shy to make the first move”.

He even mentioned some other stuff we or I had done that I gotta admit definitely doesn't sound platonic when he retells it, so I can see why they thought that and ultimately they were right I guess. And during that lunch he’d apparently thought I was reaching to grab his hand so he reached out too,

otherwise he probably wouldn’t have done it because he said he's never been good at making the first move physically. He said when he asked me to dinner that was a huge deal and his friends had tried to hype him up for a while and that's probably why I didn't realize that he was asking me out since he was super nervous.

Anyway, we ended up talking a lot after dinner. He didn’t come out publicly (aside from a few close friends) until a year or so ago either, so he definitely understood that I don’t have a lot of experience. He hasn’t had a lot of relationships in general (at least not any proper and public ones) since he hadn’t come out and it’s a pretty conservative area so there aren’t a lot of guys who’re out of the closet here.

He actually admitted that he’d even been nervous to talk to me that first time we met since I looked kind of lumberjack-y (his words not mine, though the day we met I think I hadn’t shaved in a while so I don’t doubt it) and he also knows rumors travel fast here, especially when someone doesn’t really fit in,

so I guess he was worried that I’d fit the small town conservative type or have heard all the gossip. The whole 'it's a date' thing for example would never happen between two guys who are just friends here. I’ve definitely noticed the culture and it’s something we talked about too since being out here isn’t always easy, so we might try to keep it lowkey at first and mostly tell his friends and some of mine.

I could probably ramble on about him and what we talked about for a long time, but to keep it short it was a really nice talk and we want to take it slow but we also realize we’ve basically been half-dating since May, so it felt weird not to make it official. So I guess I’ve got a boyfriend now, thanks guys :)

TL;DR The talk went great, we discussed all the misunderstandings and he had no issues with me never having dated a guy before, especially since he hasn't been out for long. So we're officially together now!

Edit: I really didn't expect this to get as much attention as it did, but I truly appreciate all the kind words and I'm really happy you found some joy in this story that just started with me being oblivious and confused. I might actually have to show this to Erik because all the support is making me really emotional over here!

Edit #2: I’m kind of shocked at the number of comments on here, I thought there were a lot just when I went to bed a few hours ago. It’s overwhelming in a lot of different ways to say the least. Thank you for all of your love though. I’ll try to respond to a few questions later when I’m not feeling as overwhelmed, but I’m sorry that I can’t answer you all.

Edit #3: Okay, last update before I logout. I’m very overwhelmed in a lot of different ways and I think it’s best for my anxiety to exit this now. I know it sounds silly since I posted on here asking for comments but I’m just not good at getting attention and I didn’t expect more than a handful of helpful comments since that’s what I usually get on my main account when I ask about renovations.

I guess I should’ve prepared for the small chance that a lot of people saw this but after my original post got about 10 or so comments I didn’t think much of it when posting the update.

I looked through some of the comments and messages though and I wanted to answer some of the main questions at least:

1.) I’m not American and no, English isn’t my first language. The only reason I added that to my main post is because sometimes on my main account there would be phrases or names of tools I just don’t understand or know the word for. I see now maybe that wasn’t needed here and I’m sorry if it confused any of you.

I studied English for many years but school English is very different from internet and every day English. I know my grammar pretty well and basic vocabulary, but I couldn’t do my job in English.

2.) Some people asked where I lived and how it could be so conservative. It's just a small town culture that I can't quite explain. Everyone knows everyone, false rumours spread easily, there are some people who're known to cause trouble who grew up here and think they own the place. On top of that just the general attitude towards everything is very old-fashioned. It's not hard to avoid, but still worrying.

3.) I know this might sound very love-story or movie like, but in reality it’s just me realizing I like someone and wanting to start a relationship with him. My life isn’t very exciting and I prefer it that way, which is why I’m very happy I made this a throwaway account so I can go back to my regular stuff haha!

And while this is making me quite anxious, I don’t regret posting it. Reading other people’s stories has been very emotional and I wish I could handle going through all of them, but I don’t think that would be good for me right now. Just know I appreciate all the advice and love.

I didn’t want to bring this up because it seemed irrelevant, but after my last breakup I was probably at my absolute lowest point and I never expected that I would get to a place where I’m feeling this hopeful, at least not this fast. So again, thank you so much and maybe I’ll update this in the future if something happens, but right now I’m happy to leave it at this!


therealthisishannah: Have you guys, like, kissed?? More details pls.

OP: Haha yeah we did :) I don't know what details you guys want but we just ended up falling alseep on the couch after talking a lot and then we had to get up early because he had work.

snowyseaflower: I’m saving this story. You met in a queue at the pharmacy, became best friends, and accidentally started dating. This is the stuff of romcom dreams we modern day mortals dream of. A real life meetcute in this day and age is practically unheard of.

And his reaction was to laugh and not be upset just shows how great a guy he is. This is a perfect update to a perfect post. I seriously wish more posts here are like this.

OP: I had to Google what a meetcute was (maybe the name should've given it away but I've already proven I'm not the smartest haha) and yeah that sounds about right I think! And he's definitely a great guy, I'm very lucky :)

Sources: Reddit
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